Leonard Cohen has performed in Israel for the first time in 30 years, despite fears for his health and controversy surrounding the concert.
The veteran singer/songwriter, who turned 75 on Monday (21Sep09), collapsed onstage during a show in Spain last Friday (18Sep09) - but he was simply suffering from stomach flu.
And he refused to let his illness ruin his birthday plans, or a historic show in Tel Aviv on Thursday night (24Sep09).
But the concert at Ramat Gan stadium wasn't without incident - Palestinian activists urged Cohen to scrap the gig almost as soon as the tickets went on sale, as a protest about Israel's invasion of Gaza in January (09), which cost more than 1,100 Palestinians their lives.
Cohen responded by offering to perform in the West Bank city of Ramallah as well and announced proceeds from both shows would go to Israeli-Palestinian peace groups, via the singer's new Fund for Reconciliation, Tolerance and Peace.
But militants still opposed the Israel show, prompting Cohen's manager Robert Kory to tell the Associated Press, "There are a lot of people who don't want us here, and anything done here invites controversy, but we believe freedom of speech is very, very important."
The singer appeared healthy and well-dressed as he performed hits and fan favourites from his remarkable career. Cohen last performed in Israel in 1975.